Web of Secrets [Modern Cultivation]
by David Musk
- Traumatising content
Mana Artists rule the world, and the path to power is a well-kept secret, restricted to state-approved programs and universities.
Akari Zeller will never be a Mana Artist. Not if society has its way. She's a Bronze with no money, no family, and no connections. But technology is advancing too. And to a skilled hacker like Akari, no secret is safe forever. The dark web holds the keys to true power, advancement, and her only chance of survival.
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The concept is intriguing, along with the maps and character profiles. I also have to comment on the book cover because I absolutely love it, and it looks professional. I commend you on your worldbuilding because I think the first chapter really introduces the tone and setting of the story well. You established the inner and outer conflicts that Akari is going through, from being alone to struggling to live in a society where they perceive her as feeble, weak, and of lower rank/class. I'm interested in seeing how Akira evolves and seeing more of her emotions during each encounter and situation. As the story progressed, we got more and more of her personality, which I enjoyed immensely. I didn't mind what happened in chapter two because that only sets it up for her to have more growth from thereon. I would say if you love worldbuilding and defying the odds stacked against you, I'd say check this book out!
Web of Secrets is like the love child of Street Cultivation, Mother of Learning, and Cradle. I love all three of these stories so I think this is high praise. If you don´t like these series still give it a shot! It's not a copy of them by any means. It just reminds me of them and is the best comparisons I can make but rest assured it is it's own work.
Style: We´re still early on in the story but I´ve rarely seen exposition done so well. The way the author is slowly rolling out the history of the world, the magic, and the plot is just inspiring. He provides just enough information at the right intervals to keep everything interesting and the plot moving forward without information overload or forcing it. There is still a lot of the world that is unknown to the characters and I'm looking forward to discovering the world with them.
Story: I included a lot of story elements in the style section and I won't rehash it here. There are really interesting story elements that I really enjoy. The author has done a good job of steering the characters into doing what he wants for the story while maintaining the illusion that he isn't in control of what they're doing. There are some really enjoyable hacking scenes which as someone who has very limited knowledge of was very enjoyable.
Grammar: I usually have to mentally correct errors constantly when I've reading online but that wasn't the case here. If there are grammatical errors then they're the sneaky kind.
Characters: We're still learning about them but they seem to be 3 dimensional people who have actual wants, needs, backgrounds, and plans for the future. Even characters that have very limited screentime are more than they appear at first. As I stated earlier, but it bears repeating, is that the characters really feel internally consistent and they do things because it makes sense for them to do it not because it is necessary for the plot.
Like almost every other rewiev has said; the worldbuilding in this novel is awesome.
The way things are explained makes the reading enjoyable while still giving enough information for a solid mental picture of the story's society.
I see a lot of potential in this story and so far it has not let me down.
Overall: This is an extremely enjoyable read and one I would recommend. Like all readers who find a great novel like this to read in it's early stages the only real struggle is the small amount of chapters :D.
Style: The flow is great and the format is well done. Very easy to read, understand, and follow along.
Story: There is a ton of world building that I feel we don't know yet, but overall what is presented is enough to get the readers interested. It also provides the expectation that this world will expand into something big someday which gives readers something to look forward to. One thing that I would have liked to see some explanation on who is Talek, and how did he become what I assume is a curse word. Hopefully that is explained in time.
Characters: Each character has their own personality and don't feel cookie cutter at all. The main character feels real and really had me invested in her struggles early on for sure. I legitimately felt bad for the poor girl and her situation further pulling me into the story and wanting more.
Grammar: Couldn't really find any grammar mistakes, if there are some they would be simple and shouldn't bother anyone.
So far (as of ch. 18) the story is very promising.
The writing style is well done and allows a coherent, flowing reading experience.
The author does a good job of avoiding infodumps. New information is is established in a way that highlights the relevance it has for the protagonist. The introduction of the setting of the story is especially noteworthy: Five sentences into the story you already have a good idea of the setting. Another sentence in you get hooked into the story. No awkward transition, no textwall, just a clean and smooth start. Very impressive.
An Interesting, well thought through setting with real relevance to the protagonist - thats definitely a good start. Especially the caste-like hierarchical society structure is set up to play a role in this story.
So far, the story is progressed mainly by the actions of the protagonist and her partner in crime. I am interested in finding out how the introduction of further actors and antagonists will affect the story progression.
The plot is good and has no obvious holes. Some aspects seem a bit improbable, though not to the point of hurting the story.
People seem to have maybe a bit too much and too specific information at times. Maelyn's information about "anyone in school—student or staff member" (ch3) is the prime example for this. Similarly surrprising is Emberlyn's plot (ch5), where in less than two periods of class (+ lunchbreak), Emberlyn gains information about Akari meeting Kalden and about Akari's (supposedly secret) hacking activities and habits, plots an elaborate set-up, sets the obscuring of camera footing in motion, maybe still attends lessons and probably has lunch. That girl acts quite fast and decisive against someone who did nothing but meeting her fiancé. (okay, maybe it was a secret meeting, but that is still a bit extreme.)
The pacing is good.
I did not notice any grammatical mistakes. However, since i'm not a native speaker, i might not be the most perceptive reader regarding grammar.
Akari, as the protagonist of the story, is fleshed out quite well. Her actions are reasonable, though when she is in stress-situations (so with some regularity) they tend to be more impulsive and emotion-driven. Her actions vary from careful to rebellious, maybe even reckless. So far her actions are mainly goal oriented.Overall, she is a realistic character with diverse responses to different situations. I look forward to reading more about her.
Kalden has similar goals to Akari, but is, especially socially, in a different situation. Kalden is a coherent and well written character.
Emberlyn's actions at times seem a bit more decisive than would be reasonable. Future chapters might put this into perspective.
The characters are well done and fit well into story and setting. They each have an individual feel and overall are well thought out. I hope future chapters will show us new facets of them and grant a better insight into the emotional state of the protagonist.
This story has all the hallmarks of a long running, top rating story. Characters are well-written, the worldbuilding is superb. Grammar is on point and the flow is good, with an intersting potential storyline, all in all, I would advise everyone to give it a try.
It's worth it.
Only thing that's still needed is a bit more effort put into the side charaters. The story is only 100 pages in, so it's by no means too late and from what I read, the author is working on it so I have high hopes in this are as well.
Ngl, I've been waiting for a good, new, rags to riches cultivation story with the main point is focused on progretion, for a while. I mean yes, been there, done that, but progretion fantasy will always hold a high ranking in my fantasy book rating.
Now, this story gave me chills, for some reason my inner adjudicator is heaping praise and love upon this story so far, and from what I've read, I understand completely.
Great potential, hope writer-sama does not get side tracked and that the world building and magic system is shown off even more than what's been shown so far.
It's quite good so far. The characters feel sufficiently distinct and interesting, the prose/grammar is good. Nothing to complain about, really. The dialog is the second best aspect of the story so far - it feels very organic and it's quite entertaining.
Why five stars though? Because, the world building and magic system is really freaking' cool! Unlike most stories on RR I'm actually interested in learning more.
I definitely recommend you check this one out.
I love stories tht start with the MC at the bottom and crawling their way up. The difficulty of the training also makes this good for me. I will be adding this to my favorites so i can follow along.
The world so far has an interesting build with a grand secret and little ones that the MC finds out along the way. The martial systems hasn't been fully explained yet but the mystery is part of the fun.
This is a well written cultivation story with a cool post-apocalyptic world. I love the idea that knowledge has been lost and there might be a wider world out there Still early days yet, but good characters and so far the plot arc is great. I just want more of it written :)